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Tea bags, potato peelings and banana skins to power Aberdeen’s £333million conference centre

An Austrian firm has been confirmed as the builders of a new plant which will transform Aberdeen’s discarded banana skins, tea bags and potato peelings into fuel for the city’s £333million new exhibition centre.

The 12,500-seater TECA venue and conference facility is under construction in Bucksburn, along with two hotels, and has already attracted big names to sign up to play including Elton John.

Last night, the city council revealed that Austrian company Thoni Industriebetriebe GmbH had been chosen to construct the new gas-to-grid plant to provide power to the massive facility.

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The plant will process 81,000 tonnes a year, and 41,300 tonnes of this will be waste while the rest will be crop-based.

The entire site is being built by Aberdeen City Council along with Henry Boot Developments (HBD), and main contractor Robertson Group.

Council co-leader Jenny Laing said that the new power plant would help the council meet its environmental obligations.

She said: “We are in the midst of the most important period of transformation Aberdeen has ever experienced including an increased focus on renewable energy sources as part of our Regional Economic Strategy, and it’s fantastic that TECA can lead on that.

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“The quality and scale of TECA is designed to attract global events and acts, supporting our ambitions to grow the number of visitors we attract from local, regional, national and international markets.

“We are delighted that the renewable energy from the AD plant will be part of that.”

It has been forecast that TECA will contribute an additional 4.5million visitors and £113million of visitor spend to the Scottish economy, over 10 years.

It will also result in the creation of 352 full-time-equivalent permanent positions by year 10 of operations.

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Robert Lackner of Thoni said: “We’re really excited both about the project itself but also about being part of the story. Even more so, because this is part of a show case for “the future of energy supply” in the middle of the centre of the fossil gas and oil industry.”

Robin Szmidt of Target Renewables said: “I’m looking forward to the project becoming not just an engineering success, but also a success for the new AECC, the city, and the local community.”

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